Over the past few years, literally hundreds of thousands have been moved to action by the videos created by our former partners at Burma Issues. Both the trailer and full version of just one video, Shoot on Sight, have been seen 1 million times on YouTube and the Hub alone – not to mention the dozens of times it has been screened before decision-makers and supporters.
Now activists working on human rights in Burma have 4 new tools for their campaigning. With the elections in Burma confirmed for 7 November, these tools come at a very strategic time for human rights in the country.
At the beginning of August WITNESS began distributing DVDs containing the Burmese version of our foundational book, Video for Change. The book presents a holistic approach to using video in human rights work – covering every aspect from getting informed consent for interviews and limiting the safety and security risks to those filming and being filmed to methods on how to reach the most relevant decision-makers to make real change.
Along with Video for Change, the DVD contains Burmese versions of two WITNESS training videos, Tips and Techniques, offering practical instruction on using a camera, and the animated Guide to Video Advocacy. Finally, the hard-copy handouts of the Guide to Video Advocacy, now in Burmese, are also included on the DVD.
I was in Southeast Asia at the beginning of August to share these 4 tools with key groups working on human rights in Burma. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Based on my meetings, if the DVD were to include reviews (by the critics WITNESS cares most about) the DVD cover would say, “WOW!”, “Amazing!”, and “Can we burn as many as we want?”
Burmese speakers can access all 4 tools on our Burmese page devoted to the materials. For English speakers to access, the Burmese training videos are on the WITNESS YouTube channel and the book, Video for Change (Burmese), is available on witness.org.